Koper, January 2014
The book “Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the media” is a critique of the Eurocentrism which is present in representing other cultures. The book focuses on contemporary media and is actually criticizing the subjectivity that the media presents. The authors are discussing the concept of multiculturalism in variety of contexts and are giving examples of how manipulated the term multiculturalism is in the media, politics and science. In this paper we’ll be focusing on the Polycentric Multiculturalism which is the last part of the first chapter “From Eurocentrism to Pollycentrism” (Shostat & Stam1994: 46 - 49). The first chapter gives a summary of the crucial debates concerning Eurocentrism, racism, multiculturalism, postcolonial theories, Third World Countries, East/West, in order to illustrate the manipulative aspirations of the “developed countries” and the eurocentric media practices. Discussion
Ella Shohat and Robert Stam are suggesting that “The concept of “multiculturalism” is polysemically open to various interpretations and subject to diverse political force fields; it has become an empty signifier on to which diverse groups project their hopes and fears” (Shostat & Stam 1994: 47) This conclusion comes from previously given examples of how multiculturalism is used for political purposes in a manipulative ways from neo-conservatives and militant nationalists to liberals. The empty use of the word multiculturalism and the still present eurocentricity in media, politics, science and real life as well is illustrated in institutional terms in the models of multiculturalism varying in their degree of participation by POC (People of Color) by Ada Gay Griffin. There are 6 models, the” IBM model (white executive staff plus a few token blacks), the SPOOK model (a POC plots to empower other POCs), the BENETTON model (POCs are visually conspicuous, but decision makers are White), the ABOLITIONIST model (progressive Whites consult with POCs but retain power), the NKRUMAH model (POCs transform a White institution into an organ responsive to their own concerns) and the MUGABE model (in a multiracial coalition, POCs enjoy decision making power)” (Shostat & Stam 1994: 47) The above mentioned statement, points to a criticism towards the unequal distribution of power within people living in a same community, regardless to their origins. In authors opinion and we must agree, that the result of unequal distribution of power results with violence. Moreover, the need of distributing power and egalitarian social relations is ignored. Therefore, multiculturalism in practice is failing because of division on more and less influential, more and less important, more and less developed. And all this is because of the still present Eurocentric theories, education, media etc that in a way rank higher the Europeans (including America &Australia). Since in national contexts, multiculturalism loses its attractiveness, the “word “multiculturalism” has no essence it points to a debate” and “the discussions of multiculturalism miss a notion of ETHNIC RELATIONALITY & COMMUNITY ANSWERABILITY”, the authors offer the following solutions: RADICAL CRITIQUE OF POWER RELATIONS
MORE SUBSTANIVE AND RECIPROCAL INTERCOMMUNIALISM
DROPPING THE TERM “MULTUCULTURALISM”
Undergoing these changes multiculturalism transforms into Radical Multiculturalism which has less to do with artifacts, more with the communities behind those artifacts, calls for reconstructuring & reconceptualization of POWER RELATIONS between CULTURAL COMMUNITIES and more important refuses ghettoizing discourse, links minoritarian communities, challenges the hierarchy that makes one communities “minor” & other “major” & “normative”. The more radical form of multiculturalism is threatening for the Neoconservatives because of the intellectual and political regrouping by which minorities...
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